In preparation of my next big photo trip I recently spent some nights car camping, testing what equipment I need to go on a photo expedition only by car (for maximum flexibility) for several weeks. For this particular day I wanted to hike to the "Carolafelsen" in the Saxony-Switzerland National Park, enjoy the scenery there, shoot sunset and then descend in the dark back to the car and explore some other locations the next day. Since it was Midsummer Night (the longest day of the year) and I already know this location, I've scouted the suns position with the Photographers Ephemeris in order to think about possible image compositions, see the screenshot below.



Photographers Ephemeris Screenshot



After breakfast (about noon) I started in Leipzig and drove towards Dresden and then into the Kirnitzschtal near Bad Schandau. The hike I wanted to go this time starts near a place called Beutenfall. It is a pretty exhausting hike (or I am out of shape, currently) with only about 600 meter altitude. It first is a nice easy walk through the forest, then it becomes a little steeper and then there are the stairs. Pretty steep and they seem to be endlessly! I felt like I was in a scene of Lord of the Rings - The Infinite Staircase. However, after an hour or so I was at the top of the ridge and enjoyed some nice panoramic views.



Greetings from Saxony Switzerland



With plenty of time until sunset I explored the area for more possible photo locations for the future. I have also visited Carolafelsen where I wanted to shoot sunset but only for a few minutes since at this moment there were quite a few people there and strong cold winds blowing. After another hour of walking and exploring towards "Großer Winterberg" I found a place where I would be undisturbed, could eat dinner and listened to some good music. Refreshed I started my way back to my designated sunset location. This time I was there all by myself and particulary enjoyed solitude and this awesome view.





Although the sky didn't look very promising at first, I decided to set up the camera and thought about possible compositions and took some shots like the photo above. I've also scouted possible locations in the nearby area and found a more interesting place than where I first setup the camera, so I moved all the equipment to this new spot and waited for the light.





And then it came! This awesome light only lasted for about 30 seconds I think, maybe longer. I was so busy shooting all exposures I needed for this image that I somehow lost track of time. I then enjoyed this view another 30 minutes or so and eventually started to descend back down the stairs, through the dark forest and back to the car.



Enjoying the View



When I was back at the car it already was about 11pm. I was tired (especially my legs) but not really satisfied with the parking area because it was directly next to road so I searched for a more remote place to spent the night in the car. After a little driving I found this nice place you see in the photo below.



Car Camping



I've slept quite well, but only for a few hours. At half past six I was awake and got up at about 7am, refreshed myself in the river and prepared breakfast. It was a very quiet and calm morning scene with only a few birds chirping and sound of the flowing water of the Kirnitzsch. No other persons around. No one expecting nothing from me. I was completely off the radar, no obligations, no phone calls, Emails, SMS, WhatsApp- or Facebook messages to answer, no Trac/Jira Tasks to develop or whatsoever. Just me, myself and I. No background noise. Free! After about an hour I started to my next location. Just for the fun of it!



Car Camping Trunk



This morning I had this famous spot of the Bastei bridge completely for myself and again enjoyed the view and took some photos. Later I explored the area for possible photo compositions for autumn and winter in better light and finally drove back home.



Bastei Bridge - Saxony-Switzerland, Germany - Prints Available



Mostly I don't touch the new photos for at least a week to get a little emotional distance when selecting which ones I will process. So, the next weekend I started the selection and post-processing process, wrote a few words and put it all together in this little article.


What a nice contrast the outdoor life is compared to a normal office day in my other life as a professional software developer!
In addition here is another interesting article about the 40 hour work week and how this designs our modern "lifestyle".

Published 9 years and 11 months ago by Dave


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